NHL Rumor Mill – January 11, 2018

by | Jan 11, 2018 | Rumors | 58 comments

Latest look at possible trade-deadline rental players and more in your NHL rumor mill.

Vancouver Canucks defenseman Erik Gudbranson could be among the top rental players at this year’s NHL trade deadline(Photo via NHL Images).


FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites TSN’s Bob McKenzie’s appearance Wednesday on NBC Sports Network discussing the NHL trade market. He considers Buffalo Sabres left wing Evander Kane as the premier rental player available. He also lists Detroit Red Wings defenseman Mike Green, Vancouver Canucks winger Thomas Vanek and blueliner Erik Gudbranson and Edmonton Oilers forwards Patrick Maroon, Mike Cammalleri and Mark Letestu as possible rental players.

McKenzie also suggests several players on struggling clubs with term remaining on their contracts could potentially be on the move. Those include Montreal Canadiens forwards Max Pacioretty and Alex Galchenyuk and Ottawa Senators winger Mike Hoffman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McKenzie’s TSN colleague Darren Dreger recently said he wouldn’t be surprised if the Nashville Predators had some interest in Pacioretty. He admits, however, he doesn’t know if the two clubs have held talks.

Nashville and Montreal have a recent trade history (Shea Weber for P.K. Subban in 2016). If the Habs move Pacioretty or Galchenyuk before the trade deadline (and that’s a big “if” at this point), they’ll want a quality return that helps them now and in the future. A winger such as Kevin Fiala or Viktor Arvidsson could be part of the asking price. 

He also speculates the Minnesota Wild, who’ve been busy near the deadline in recent years, could opt to look internally this season. They don’t have much salary-cap room this season. They’d also like to evaluate veterans Zach Parise and Nino Niederreiter, who’ve been hampered by injuries, and younger players such as Jason Zucker and Charlie Coyle.


THE ATHLETIC: Mike Halford lists the Tampa Bay Lightning, Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, Florida Panthers, Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins as possible trade destinations for Vancouver Canucks defenseman Erik Gudbranson.

Halford notes the Lightning reportedly seek a top-four, right-handed defenseman. They’re deep in prospects and have all their picks in each of the next three drafts, though they’ve been reluctant in the past to part with their prospects. The Bruins were reportedly looking for a minute-munching blueliner but they’re already deep in right-handed rearguards. The Leafs, meanwhile, need experienced d-men but it depends upon how management views Gudbranson.

The Panthers could still be interested in bringing back Gudbranson. The Capitals could be in the market for a veteran defenseman. While Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford and Canucks GM Jim Benning have a trade history, the Pens recent acquisition of Jamie Oleksiak could take them out of the bidding for Gudbranson.

FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites insider Elliotte Friedman telling Vancouver’s Sportsnet 650 his belief that there are teams kicking tires on Gudbranson, but it remains to be seen how serious those suitors are. He said he wouldn’t be surprised if Toronto, Tampa Bay or the Los Angeles Kings have made inquiries.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There is some concern over whether Gudbranson remains suited to the increasing speed of the NHL game. Still, I think there are playoff contenders willing to pursue him if the asking price is reasonable. The Canucks, however, gave up a lot to pry Gudbranson away from the Panthers in 2016 so they won’t just give him away. If the Panthers want him back, I assume they’ll wait for this summer when he’ll likely hit the UFA market.

The Lightning could be a little more willing to part with prospects this season if they’re all-in for a Cup run. The Leafs and Capitals could also be suitors. I think the Pens have made their move to address their defense and could shift their focus toward a scoring forward. If the Bruins remain in the market for a blueliner I expect they’ll put their focus on one with a left-handed shot. 




  1. Lyle, what would the return be for Guldbranson? Rangers in same boat as last season with 2 left handed, mediocre dmen playing on right side. As bad as they are in their own end and no real stay at home type with size and aggressiveness, I would think they’d be interested for right price. I’d easily send Holden if that’s all was required

    • Look at what they gave up to Florida for Gudbranson. It was Jared McCann and their 2016 second and fourth round picks. Are they going to seek that much? Probably not, but I believe they’ll want something more than Holden.

      • Both on expiring contracts. Not sure Gudbranson would be in Rangers future plans, but could see them throwing in a 3rd or 4th.

      • Hated that trade then & Benning compounded it by signing him to a 1 year deal making him a UFA this summer. Gubranson will return a 2nd & 3rd a 2nd & a OK prospect, call it B grade or possibly 2 2nds, depends on where the picks fall. All you need do is look at prices paid for these types of players in past trade deadline deals, say the last 3 years.

        He won’t be moved in trade for a player like Holden Vancouver has Dman coming & they blueline with the emergence of Pouliot to an NHL Dman has been a pleasant surprise.

    • Striker…Also, on same note, if your Bruins are deep on right side, any chance they’d be interested in Brendan Smith??? Rangers need to move him sooner than later. We have opposite problem of way too many left handed d.

      • Why? They have to many Dman now, McQuad is buried on LTIR, I don’t care to much about RHD or LHD.

        Go to cap friendly click on each team few teams have 3 & 3 & this LH RH thing is way over blown. Smith is making about 2 mil more a season than he should be. #6 Dman that might be able to play 2nd pairing minutes for brief periods before exposed as inadequate shoudn’t Be paid this much money.

        Not sure what Gorton was doing here. Smith was a often a healthy scratch in Det & they had & have 1 of the worst D’s in the NHL this whole buying Girardi out & signing Smith was a mistake at least for this season.

      • Striker, I, unlike most NY fans, was against signing Smith from the get go! I’ll do anything to get rid of him. Was asking about Bruins since you’re a fan and story here was they where short left handed d men. Thanks for squashing any hopes I had

      • Sorry Slick62.

        I didn’t like the signing either & advocated that they should have just retained Giradri.

        As I have stated many times now, Smith with Girardi’s buy out this season cost NYR, the equivalent of 6.861,111, that goes up to 7,861,111 over the next 2 seasons that would have made up the remaining term of Girardi’s 5.5 mil per deal. add another 1.1 for 3 more years after that.

        Smith Smith is a far lesser Dman than Giraidi & is costing them more with the buyout! How did this save anything?

        Yzerman is happy, Giradi has been logging the 3rd most TOI/GP for them at D doing what Giradi does, play a decent defensive game killing penalties, blocking shots & clearing the crease for 1.5 mil less than Smith at 3 mil on a 2 year deal.

        As a Bruins fan I don’t want Smith. As a hockey fan I don’t want him on any team at 4.5 per & certainly not for 4 years. Miller is a better Dman & only making 2.5.

      • As I’ve said before, Smith was a panick signing. Gorton wasn’t sure he’d get Shatty and didn’t want to let Smith hit the open market. Also expected DeAngelo to break in. I have no problem with buying out Girardi. He’ll be useless in playoffs. Blocking shots will only get you so far. Gets beat easily and is usually worn out and beaten up by end of season.

    • So you are proposing Holden for the top rental d-man that’s going to be available … c’mon man, read what you write before you hit submit.

      • Keyword being rental. I wasn’t suggesting Holden would be enough, more my willingness to get rid of him. That would be why I asked what price would be!!! Maybe you should read before responding

      • The top rental Dman is Green.

    • Great read once again Lyle!

      Does anyone know in comparion to how deep the upcoming draft is, in comparison to 14,15.16 and 17 lets say?

      Also , i think if the leafs aquire a Dman it wont be a renral player. Although expensive, they should be gunning for OEL from the Coyotes

  2. What does everyone think of trade destinations for anurse and RNH should the oilers look at packages for either player.

    I think Nurse in Toronto makes alot of sence. They could create a package around Marner or Nylander, they got 2 seconds their first.. what do you guys think a fair return for both teams would be… lets be cognizant of the fact no ones giving the leafs a young top 4 d man for table scraps.

    How bout RNH to philly or Carolina for packages starting with provorov or hanifan

    • If you ask me the Oilers are not in a position to trade Nurse at all.

      And if memory serves the have already tried to trade RNH for a young dman so they would probably need to add in order to get one now. I think they offered him to Nash for Jones

      • Edm’s D should be fine. Sekera just returned, he will need 12 to 15 games to get back up to full speed.

        In no particular order Sekera, Klefbom; playing thru shoulder injury, Larsson, Russell, Nurse & Benning. That’s a solid top 6.

        I don’t know what’s going on in Edm. I watch them play live & am seeing mistakes that would get a rep player benched above Bantam prep.

        Mind boggling how badly almost everyone is. Using their assignments. I can only assume they have tuned the coach out. There is something fundamentally wrong here as with the exception of last season this has been going on for over a decade!

        Constantly killing the coach just perpetuates the problem. No idea how you fix this culture issue.

    • Nurse to Toronto makes sense for Toronto and it will include Marner at a minimum. I don’t see Edmonton doing this as plugging one hole will create another. Nurse is their best defenseman, better than Larsson and easily better than Klefbom.
      I also don’t think Gudbranson is a great target for the leafs, he may be marginally better than Polak. I’d rather hang onto picks for the next twp drafts unless its for a bonifide top 4

    • Neither player will get traded from the Oilers.
      Especially Nurse as there isn’t a player in the system to replace him in their blueline.

      • I think Edm can retain RNH for at least 1 more season but following next season depending upon where the cap goes it will prove challenging.

        Can a team afford the salary structure at C. #1 C 12.5, #2 8.5 & #3 6?

        I think Edm will at least discuss possibly moving RNH this summer if the right deal can be found. If it can’t he stays until it can.

      • Both Draisaitl & McDavid we’re over paid & their contracts are going to be incredibly inflationary you can add Orice into the problem as well, now this coming summer several players will be extended over 10, Doughty for sure, probably Karlsson & Tavares will be signed all at least 10% over 10.

        You can’t build teams properly paying top end stars sos much money in today’s cap world. I don’t care what % if the cap Crosby ate for Pit when signed, that was in a different cap world. You can’t spread the cap hit over 12 years + any more.

        With the increase of speed teams are rolling 4 lines almost inclusively, scoring is being spread over at least 3 lines now & that has pulled up 3rd line salaries substantially. To be successful long term you need to be able to pay 3 full lines & 4 solid D.

        I wish the best of luck to NHL teams that have chosen to top load their salary structures down the road. The game is evolving & the neandrathals need to start evolving with it.

    • I don’t see Edm moving Nurse why would they?

      Why move a highly drafted, young developing Dman salary controlled?

      • Agreed, no chance they move Nurse, or really and of their top 4 D-men at the moment.

      • Nurse to NJ for Hall; wouldn’t that in the end be like Larsen for Nurse but a year later. Just so I make my point Nurse isn’t being traded.

      • Not for me. Larsson was playing as NJ’s #1 shut down D logging all the hard minutes. Nurse isn’t doing that for EDM at least not yet.

    • Proverov like werenski would not be traded for rnh. Not sure oil could add enough in either case.

  3. Lyle, I read a tweet the other day that stated the last time the nhl went this late into the season without a coaching change was back in the 60’s (67 I think) I researched but couldn’t find anything. Do you know?

  4. I said the other day I wouldn’t mind seeing Patches in Boston. That would be two solid lines Marchand, Bergeron Pastrnak and Patches Krecji Debrusk. What would the cost be? Spooner, 1st and a Prospect? These teams don’t make trades often and Hab fans wouldn’t want to see Max in a Bruins uniform, Boston and Montreal play three times in a week starting Saturday 2 of the 3 r in Montreal make the trade after that because Boston won’t be back in Montreal until next season.

    • I don’t see Patches going to the Bruins as they don’t deal very often and especially for the caliber player Patches is for that return.
      Although the Bruins would have the upper hand I think on Tampa if this would happen.
      Caper are you from Cape Breton as a Bruins fan?

      • Yes Chris, I’m from the gateway to NFLD.

      • Ah yes very pretty land up that way I’m originally from the other side of the causeway near Mulgrave Nova Scotia.
        As a Hab Fan living around Boston most of my life. The play of the Bruins is fantastic all 4 lines are well balanced and everyone seems to pitch in. Tuuka has been lights out in December. If they play this well come playoffs Tampa and Washington will have there hands full. I would however try to get a decent draft pick for Mcquaid if they can as teams are needing Defenceman. Bruins youth seems to be paying off for them.

      • Come this summer the Bruins can look to trade a player like McQuad. Still has a year left at reasonable money so we keep him for this years playoff run. Grzelcyk still isn’t waiver eligible till 2019-20 or 46 more NHL regular season games, he could still be sent down after next seasons camp if needed.

    • No thank you. Stay the course with what we have buy an insurance winger if the cost isn’t greater than a 2nd & a prospect that most likely doesn’t have an NHL future. Really they don’t even have to do that.

      Quite happy to take a run with what we have & hope that Rask plays at his best as if he diesn’t Bos isn’t going anywhere regardless.

      • Striker this sound weird but I don’t disagree with you, but that would be two solid lines and as long as the Bruins don’t have to play Washington there is a chance.

      • We have 3 solid lines now. Hell the 4th has played great as well.

    • I do not believe that would be enough for Pacioretty. Is he having a down year? Yes, but he has always been a thirty goal a year guy previously with not having the greatest linemates. The player offered would have to be better than Spooner. A first, yes. The prospect would have to be a TOP prospect. Bergevin is not going to give him away.

      • Drew, we’ll have to defer, I do think Patches because of the extra year on his contract would good a very good return, but I do think the offer is good and maybe a better one out there. I also wonder what affect Claude system is having on Max as a Bruin fan we know he loves his defense first and stifle some offensive opportunities, look no further then what Boston has done since Cassidy has taken over and allowed the guys to push offense and encourage the defense to carry the puck and jump into the play. You don’t see that in Claude system but I never this mentioned as a possible contributing factor into Patches declining numbers.

  5. If TB is looking for a top 4 right handed Dman, why doesn’t GM MB call him up and offer up Petry? After this season he has 3 more years at $5.5m MTL is not contending in the next 2 years at least. Petry is 30 yrs old now. Get a 1st (if possible) and a good prospect while they can. Will not get GM MB Sergachev back LOL but something for Petry during his prime is better than less value when he is 33 and older.

    • Petry is a -21 this year and not a top 4 dman. Montreal area hockey analysts ( AM 690) have continued to rip his inconsistent play all year. Bergevin would likely accept a mid to low round pick to get that salary off the books.

      • You do not think someone will bite and offer at least a 2nd?

      • what about Andrej Sustr and 3rd?

    • On behalf of TB & Steve Yzerman, no thank you. Nor can Mon afford to lose another 1 of their top Dman, they let their #3 Markov, #4 Emelin & #5 Bealieau go by TOI/GP last season for numerous reasons all played over 19 mins a games.

      Then the flipped 1 of the 3 best D prospects we are currently aware of not playing in the NHL for a premadona winger. No slight to Drouin I assume he will be an elite level Point producer eventually but will never be as valuable as Sergachev.

      This wholesale change at D for Mon is a huge reason they find themselves where they are. No continuity. Moving Petry would make it worse. Peter is a good #2 Dman to great #3 his is being miscast currently with Weber our but what choice does Mon have.

      They can’t afford to lose Petry. Is he really much different than the declining Giradri or Stall’s of the world? I see him following a similar path to those 2 as he enters his early 30’s. The simply make to much money based on their contributions, Petry wasn’t a 5.5 mil a year Dman even when signed, his pending UFA status forced the dollars. I don’t see any team taking his cap hit based on what he brings to the table unless dumping a salary of some portion back or Mon eating at least a mil.

      • I would say MTL can afford to lose him bc his value will be less in 3 yrs. They are not contending for the next 2. Best value is now I would contend. I agree, it would make MTL D worse BUT… they can work the off season to take other contracts back etc… work the cap space…take additional picks. MTL is more trouble if they don’t really focus on assets mgt. Petry is worth more to send away now than in 2-3 years. Plenty of UFA to stop gap with 1 or 2 yr short low cap hit contracts.
        He may even garner a 1st rd pick (not likely but could). Would you accept a 1st this season for him? I would hope. yes.

      • Mon is not positioned for a rebuild.

  6. Theory in the Star today suggests Babs wants his team playing “playoff hockey” in regular season to prepare for the April/May run. If what the Leafs are doing right now is his idea of playoff hockey, then such hockey must consist of soft defensive zone play, multiple giveaways, unadventurous wingers and misuse of Marner Nylander and Matthews, the latter of which is being rested for what reasons? Having him not be on the first shift of power plays is foolish, and helps the opponents. Leafs fans should prepare for one of two things: early first round exit or being caught by Florida and Ottawa by the end of March!

  7. a bit off topic but the Habs are on pace to break a team modern day record ( except for strike lockout years ). Since 1960 the lowest point total for the team leader was 98-99 Recchi 47 points ( he only played 61 of 82 games ). 42 games in this year 3 players @ 23 points , ouch

    • I think MB needs to get aggressive now and figure out the trade market and value. Trade multiple pieces for as many 1st, 2nds and high prospects as possible. Then after that take whatever multiple picks he can garner for lower value assets and use this season to gauge how good his younger talent is and better assess his draft strategy NOW.

      Players to trade
      1. Patches
      2. Petry
      3. Shaw
      4. Plekanec
      5. Schlemko
      6. Benn

      If they move Patches…that is a 2018 1st rd pick along with at least 1 highly touted prospect… if they cannot get 2 top prospects grab a 2nd rd pick in 2019 then.

      Chicago just created room…see if they want Shaw back. Take back Bouma which will fit Shaw in with room to spare for CHI. Get a 2019 2nd rd pick and another low round pick in 2018.

      Move Petry to SJ or TB or another team looking to bolster up their D. He is 30 and his best value is now in his “prime” Another 2018 2nd rd pick and prospect perhaps.

      Plekanec for at least a 2018 or 2019 2nd. Vermette got a 1st so MB may get lucky…

      Most playoff teams are looking for cheap depth Dmen. Well Benn at 1.1 and Schlemko is 2.1 So there are two more 2nd round picks. Try to get 2019 or 2020 picks. Spread the picks thru the next 3 drafts.

      Those players in total can potentially garner them near 8 picks. Along with their own…they really can haveve a better chance to find a gem. Also letting everyone go now…worse records gets closer to higher percentage to potentially get Dahlin.

      Time is now…not just the deadline to start to mini-rebuild. Get the bidding war started now.

  8. the problem with Montreal loading up on draft picks is that their draft history is awful the last good draft year was 2007. Timmins should be on the hot seat.

    • I agree…..It appears their draft history of late has been subpar. Probably why they need MORE picks and not less. So they can take some chances….More draft choices means more prospects to watch…. They have a full year before they have to sign them. 7 picks or 14 picks? 14 picks seems better to me to rebuild. How long has Timmins been their director?

      I think starting now gives them more time for focus on the draft too… more heads in mgt & the organization focused on that.

      Get Head Coach JC to buy in on spending time developing the younger guys too…. heck the vets make mistakes…its ok for young guys then too.

      MB in the off season can also take some bad contracts back that are on 1 yr or 2 yr and grab additional picks… Really use their $$$$$ to garner picks int he next 2-3 years to revamp.

      Trading away just Patches will not even remotely fix this team nor make this team a contender…… Are they not best served sending out Vets for picks and top prospects??

      The fans in MTL will show up….they would better understand a young team losing and growing with their fans than a veteran team over paid and getting blown out with a $11m goalie. Right??

    • The Habs should fire all the Management deam. Do not allow them to make this team worse. Hire a GM who knows what he is doing. New coahingstaff & People who know how & who to Draft. At the DeadLine trade all the old players & do a rebuild or retool.. Anyone over 26 would be gone.

  9. Jack Eichel has 39 points in 43 games playing with absolute terrible players around him. Leafs fans claim he’s not worth 10 million, Well, I hate to break the news to you, he makes less than 1 million this season.

    • I have some bad news for you as that’s simply how his salary is reflected on Capfriendly. Eichel will ding the cap for 3.775 when the season ends. All his bonuses were structured to be essentially freebies will be earned & accrued the majority in this calendar year. Buf’s projected cap space at present is $5,457,911, they have $6,607,500 in bonus monies outstanding, almost all of that will be earned & paid.

      Capfrindly chooses not to show bonus monies as salary as for players on ELC’s or 1 year deals if 35 are potentially deferable if earned & it pushes a team over the cap.

      Using your logic McDavid as making the exact same as Eichel both in salary now & at year end with bonuses & there are others, Matthews, Laine, etc.

      • Sorry having this weird lag issue effecting posts dropping key strokes due to lag. Should read & contracts on players over 35 on 1 year deals.

        I’ve got good news for some, as if I can’t get this issue rectified I simply will have to stop positing as it’s frustrating & no fix has been found with Lyle, our my tech people. Ha-ha!

      • The only thing that matters Mr Hockey’s expert is the cap hit! We have a billionaire owner who could care less. Cap hit less than 1 million.

        Hey buddy Jack now has 41 points in 44 games. We will see who has more points at seasons end. Jack played with Okposo and Pouliot lol, not big names.

      • Any GM who signed a 29-30 year old FORWARD for long term is a dumb man! TJ Oshie signed until he’s 38 lol ha ha. Look at all the forwards who have been done at age 31. I hope to God Leafs sign JVR for 6-7 years. Chew up that cap space. Sabres GM said today he will ONLY consider trades for young players and prospects ready to step into the league soon, smart plan! Ask Detroit fans how they like all those old forwards signed until 40.

  10. I met up with some friends last night for my wife’s 55th birthday. 1 who I haven’t see since the summer was sure to remind me that he made a wager this summer that Vegas would win the cup. He put down $250.00 at 200 to 1. He wanted to know what I thought now? I told him I hope he wins & when he does, he’s paying for the trip to Vegas watch them play next season. Ha-ha!

    • Great odds… Vegas recently switched the odds to…it is i think are now 10/1

      I hope your buddy wins too.. that will be some lovely turnaround cash.

      • He said they had dropped to 7:1 with his bookie.

        I took TB in July at 17:1. for 4 times his wager.